NEW YORK Ė ďIím a very happy person, Iíve done what I wanted, when Iíve wanted to and with whom I wanted.Ē That is how Raphael summed up his singing and performing career of almost six decades on stages around the world, saying that he has no plans to retire and that his fans have given him ďa lot of love.Ē
Itís been a rewarding career, but one that has required much effort, Raphael said in an interview with EFE in New York, where he is for two days with his RESinphonico tour to perform numbers from his most recent album at Carnegie Hall, an album on which he reexamines iconic songs from his career, albeit with a new sound.
One would need a gigantic trunk to hold all the aspects of his successful career. Raphael gives a pleased smile: there have been so many stages, fans, awards, joys, sorrows, frustrations, memories.
But, he says, if you look at it closely, itís ďa trunk full of the publicís love for me, full to the brim with love. Itís 58 years of overflowing love, love that is always reciprocated.Ē
ďI never look back, Iím not nostalgic. I always look ahead. But, if I were to mess around with looking back, Iíd find a lot of love, a lot of effort on my part, but that effort has been repaid,Ē said the 76-year-old singer, outfitted in faded blue jeans and a denim jacket.
ďIím a very happy person, Iíve done what I wanted, when Iíve wanted to and with whom I wanted. Iíve sung in the places Iíve wanted to sing, and always with a lot of success, and the best of all is that I return to them all the time. You can have success, but preserving it is very complicated and difficult,Ē said Raphael in a satisfied way as someone whose success hasnít gone to his head.
He says that if he had to choose something special from among his memories, it would be the years during which his children were not yet in school and accompanied him on his tours.
ďI got a big kick out of seeing them in the wings while I was out there with my (performances) onstage,Ē he says, adding that his kids, who are now adults, are in touch with him every day when heís on tour. ďThatís what their mother taught them,Ē he says, referring to Natalia Figueroa, to whom he has been married for the past 48 years.
Raphael says that his fans ďgive me life every day.Ē
ďMy daily appointment with the public is ... marvelous. I donít know what Iíd do without that,Ē he says regarding his millions of fans, including young people because the Spanish star has broken the barrier of time and figured out how to reinvent himself and maintain a successful career, steering well clear of any scandals.
ďI donít even want to think about it, first because itís very far away, the day I have to leave them,Ē he says.
Despite the success he has achieved, Raphael says that he keeps his feet on the ground because that success Ė which can destroy you if you donít handle it properly Ė isnít a danger for him.
ďThereís no danger for me. Iím a Taurus, my feet on the ground all the time. Itís within you to be vain, or not, to be insufferable or a normal person and loved by people, and Iíve chosen this second route,Ē he says, adding that heís happy that his friends and business colleagues are loyal to him, just as heís loyal to them.
For the 50th anniversary of his career, Raphael recorded an album on which he performed with assorted Spanish musicians and singers, and for his 60th anniversary he says he intends to write an autobiography, his third, which will have ďnothing bad, but rather many strange and funny things.Ē
Raphaelís RESinphonico tour will run until December, after which he will take a Christmas break to return to Mexico and South America with the same passion and energy that has taken him to the stars, all the while with his feet firmly on the ground.